Third-phase water rationing in areas supplied by Taoyuan’s Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) has been lifted with immediate effect, thanks to heavy rain on Monday night, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
“There is no need to carry out the third-phase water rationing measures in the near future, as we now estimate there will be 47 million cubic meters of water in the Shihmen Reservoir by the end of next month,” Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) told reporters after a water supply meeting.
The ministry has a meeting on Friday to discuss the areas that depend on the reservoir for water — Taoyuan, as well as parts of New Taipei City and Hsinchu County — but after about 8 million cubic meters of water fell in the facility’s catchment area during heavy rainfall at about midnight on Monday, the ministry lifted the third-phase water rationing measures, Yang said.
The reservoir’s water level had risen to above 32 percent of its capacity after the rain, Yang said.
In addition, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) forecast that rainfall is to return to near-normal levels next month, which could ease the water shortage in northern regions, Yang added.
The areas supplied by the reservoir are still in second-phase water rationing, with industrial users’ water supplies cut by 5 percent, while supplies to high-use non-industrial consumers are cut by 20 percent, the ministry said.
However, the rain in the north was not brought by Typhoon Noul, whose impact was limited to the nation’s south, with the catchment areas of the Zengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫) in Chiayi County collecting 300,000 cubic meters of water and the Nanhua Reservoir (南化水庫) in Tainan receiving 100,000 cubic meters, the ministry said.
Yang said Friday’s meeting would include discussions on whether to enact third-phase water rationing in Kaohsiung and Tainan.
Last week, the ministry postponed the measures for another week, as rainfall helped boost the flow of the Gaoping River (高屏溪).
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